Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami

OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for immediate sack of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami over pro terrorists comments.

The party which made the call on Sunday, also asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite Pantami for questioning over some controversial comments he made in the past in support of global terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda and Taliban.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja said the party’s position was predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister.

Pantami is presently facing a storm over comments he allegedly made several years ago in support of Al-Qaeda – an extremist group founded by the late Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. Bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011 by the US Navy SEALs inside a private residential compound in Pakistan.

Following the outrage generated by his past comments, Pantami on Saturday renounced them.

He stated that some of his past views were made out of immaturity, alleging that attacks on him by Nigerians were politically instigated.

But the PDP has insisted that the minister should be sacked, arguing that he had access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.

“The PDP charges the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” the statement said.

“The party also demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately sack the minister, given the sensitivity of the issue at stake.

“Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.

“The PDP is particularly worried about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.

“The party tasks the DSS to investigate the allegation, which has created apprehension, particularly given the rise in banditry and other terrorists activities in our country.

“The PDP urges Nigerians to remain at alert and very sensitive to their environment, while not hesitating in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation.”